The Southern Living Idea House in Senoia Georgia: Tour the Outdoor "Rooms"

Hi Everyone! Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

I mentioned in my last post that I’m getting ready to take my son’s old room apart and turn it into an office space for me. It’s an emotional renovation and will be difficult in the beginning, but once all the furniture is out of the room and safely stored, the hardest part will be over.

When he graduated from high school and went off to UGA, they told the parents during the orientation meeting that it’s best to not immediately disassemble your child’s room because when they come home for a weekend or a holiday, it is reassuring for them to see it is still the way they left it. Well, that was 9 years ago. He has graduated from UGA and is in his last semester of law school. When he comes home for holidays, he always sleeps in either the guest room or the upstairs family room (the sofa is a sleeper) because those beds are much larger than the twin beds in his old room. He hasn’t slept in his room in years. He is totally fine with Mom remodeling his old room. It appears Mom is the one who is a bit sad about it. I miss my little boy but I am proud of him and proud of the man he has become. So, it’s time to move forward.

My son and his fiance have said they would be interested in having his old bedroom furniture for a spare bedroom. Do you ever wish you could slow time down…keep them little and with us a little longer? But taking his old room apart means his Dad and I have “raised him right,” as we say in the south. He is grown and no longer dependent on us and isn’t that what you ultimately strive to do for your children…raise them to be independent? He is a man, but in my heart he will always be my little boy. Always.

So, on Monday I will share more pics of his room before it is taken apart. Then I’ll share the dilemma I’ve been having regarding how I will decorate it and furnish it. It will be interesting to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Southern Living Idea House:

For today I’m sharing the last of the Southern Living Idea House in Senoia, Georgia.
Can you believe after 5 posts I still haven’t shared all of that wonderful home? Today I’m sharing the outdoor spaces.

Builders are really catching on. They apparently have gotten the message that we really like having outdoor “rooms” to hang out in with our families and for entertaining. Let’s take a tour of all the outdoor spaces of this Idea House. There are quite a few so put on your good walking shoes.

This home is described on the Southern Living Idea House site as a “handsome brownstone.” It is said to “display all the presence of an 1800’s Federal townhouse, complete with a stucco-over-masonry ground level scored to resemble rusticated limestone blocks, and a raised, classically detailed entry way of cast stone.”

After parking our car, this was the view of the side of the Idea House:

And here’s the front of the home all decorated for Christmas with wreaths on the windows. The Idea House has a porch on the side, as well as a courtyard.

I’ll be taking you out on that porch and into the courtyard behind the brick wall today in our tour of all the outside spaces. 🙂

You may remember, I toured this home a few weeks after it had been decorated for the holidays. Many of the decorations were a bit passed their prime. Don’t you just love those adorable doggies.

This was the front door(s)…decorated with preserved boxwood wreaths.

This balcony/porch was off of the “Entertainment Room.” (You can view that room in this post: Southern Living Idea House Entertainment Room) This house was truly huge…4 stories! This is not one of the outdoor spaces you saw in the first pics of this post…we’ll get to those in just a minute. This is the view looking down this porch standing at one end. Behind me was….

A Big Green Egg grill and another seating area.

Now here’s what really caught my eye out here. Take a look at the awning over this porch. It’s apparently designed to extend out when needed…like during a rainy or very hot day. Pretty cool, huh? This is a great feature to have on a patio or balcony area.

This next outdoor “room” was located immediately off the upstairs living room….also visible in this previous post: Southern Living Idea House.  Here’s one end…

And here’s the other end. Isn’t it interesting that the designer chose a bench for one side of the table? See the room there at the end with the Christmas tree showing in the window. That’s the Keeping Room. If you’d like to see more of that room and the gorgeous mantel decorated for Christmas, visit this previous post:  Southern Living Idea House.

I just couldn’t believe how many outdoor spaces this home had. The family room was actually located on the terrace (basement) level.

Just off the family room was a brick terrace…could this be called a lanai? Okay, I looked up the word “lanai” and the definition is: “veranda or roofed patio often furnished and used as a living room.” So, basically a lanai is a patio with a roof overhead. I guess we would be correct in calling this a lanai, but patio works, too. 🙂 Anyway, it was really large as you can see in this pic. This section is a part of the area that’s located behind the brick wall…the wall we saw in the first pics of this post. Ummm, I wonder what those things are on the ceiling…never noticed those until now. Could they be heaters for winter time? Or, perhaps they are fans? Or, maybe they are lights? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyone know? Update: You guys think they are speakers and I think you are right! Good guess!

Here is an interesting idea for a fountain you are no longer using for its original purpose. Turn it into a large planter.

Do you see what’s down at the end? Let’s move a bit closer…

It’s one of those swings that’s designed like a bed…and it is definitely large enough for some serious napping.

You can just see into the terrace level family room from here. If you’d like to see more of the downstairs family room, click HERE for that post.

If you walked off the patio/lanai, you would find yourself in the courtyard. All of this is hidden behind the brick walls you saw in the beginning of this post. Note the doggie house behind the seating area.

A little close-up…

This photo is from the Southern Living website…

Looking across the seating area from a different angle, we see another neat little feature.

It’s a potting bench partially sheltered from overhead.

It even has a built-in sink.

If you walked out of the courtyard and around back, this would be your view.

Just plain lovely.

Sometime soon I’ll post pics from the whole house so you can see them all together. That will be a whopper post…I’ll have to whittle down the pics to a manageable bunch. If you missed the post showing the kitchen and dining room of this home, you’ll find that post here: st Southern Living Idea House Kitchen. And if you’d like to tour the Master Bedroom, Child’s Room and a Nursery, along with baths and closets, click here: Southern Living Idea House Bedrooms and Nursery. Have a fabulous weekend!

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  1. This is a beautiful house! I really like the fountain/planter and potting bench! Thanks Susan!

  2. Love Being a Nonny says

    Oh my word, those outdoor spaces are heavenly!!! Love them!

    Can't wait to see your son's room redone. I had a hard time with that too!!! (Oh and go Bulldogs!)

    Off to google how to preserve a boxwood wreath.

  3. My oldest son went into the Coast and we moved while he was in boot camp. My youngest son went to school in Atlanta and we sold the house and moved into an apartment. I'm afraid to leave my hubby at home alone too long or he'll get rid of that place too. Luckily my guys weren't scarred for life….lol…I loved the tour. So many great ideas. Have a great day.

  4. kathyroloff says

    Susan, This is a really wonderful home! I think the boxes on the ceiling that you pointed out are speakers to a sound system. A wonderfull touch for an outdoor space. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration.

  5. Love these pictures! thanks and a wonderful new year to you and your family.

  6. We have a lot in common. My son's room has been the same since he left for college. He graduated in May and is now an L1 at UNC. Loved UGA as well. I may have to re-do his room soon but it is difficult.

    The Southern Living Home is gorgeous. I'd love to tour it in person! Those things on the patio ceiling look like speakers to me and that bed swing is calling my name!!!

    Good luck with the bedroom to office project. Cannot wait to see more!

  7. Mid-Atlantic Martha says

    I wonder if they're speakers for outdoor music.

  8. I think the white things on the ceiling are speakers.

  9. Susan (My Place to Yours) says

    I love the "lanai" patio! It seems so cozy. I'd also like to build a potting table like this for my husband. There's an old sink in the basement that's original to our house. Might have to think about that! Perhaps a Met Monday post – "someday" … Thanks for taking all the time to get pics and prepare them to share. These have been GREAT tours of a fantastic home!

  10. I wonder what the inside is like, the outside rooms are amazing!
    It's a dream come true all those great outdoor spaces. . .love them all!

  11. Oh Susan, I could identify 100% with your feelings about your son. Once they leave us, they never really come back….they are off to live their own lives. We have the memories and thank God for those….they are too precious. My "boy" just got married and lives far, far away from us. Just survived our first Christmas without his presence in more than three decades! Well, at least we had Skype! ha! Quite a change from a warm hug but better than nothing.

    WOWSERS! The idea house looks like an idea MANSION! Too incredible. Have a great Saturday! Susan

  12. Snooty Primadona says

    Our daughter is a 1-L first year law student @ SMU and I made her clean out her room when she was home at Christmas, which ended up being terribly emotional for her. While I understood the emotion, I was still ready to get that room on the road to redecorated. She moved to California for 4 years after graduating U of Texas to work in the entertainment industry & is now going to be an entertainment lawyer.

    Her room has been somewhat of a *shrine* since she left home. I redecorated son's room but she was adamant that I leave her room alone. Then the time came for us to get our home market-ready, so it was time to say good-bye to high school homecoming mums and all the other junk she had collected over the years.

    Anyway, now that I have a clean slate to work with, I don't have a clue as what I what to do with her room. So, you're certainly ahead of me!

  13. Oh Susan, your post on your son brought a few tears in my eyes. I,too, have a son who has left the nest about 12 years ago when he studied abroad at 17!He is now a lawyer in NYC and does come home but even though I re-decorated his room to a guest room, he refers this to it as 'his room'. They never really leave home in their hearts! I also enjoyed the house tour and I am jealous I am up here in the cold weather with the snow! I love the spring and summer just for the outdoor spaces and the warmth of the sun and all the beautiful flowers.

  14. dreams on 34th street says

    Hi Susan,
    I have been following your posts about this brilliant home. The post in November featuring the rec room inspired our current great room project. I'll be photographing our progress in February. Happy New Year! * Lynne*

  15. martinealison says

    Très belle propriété… Ces beaux toutous qui gardent la maison iraient-ils dans cette adorable niche !! (sourire)…

  16. Wow! This house has my name written all over it! So warm and inviting. If I had those porches I would never go inside!
    Thanks so much for sharing this.
    Now I'm going to go cry because I don't live there!

  17. Wow! Talk about tearing up! That brought back memories of my last son going off to college. He left on a Sunday (1992) and I didn't even cry and thought I was doing ok. Until I started cleaning house on Monday and walked by his room and saw the empty closet and dresser drawers and I lost it! Someone has said "We teach our children to walk so that one day they can walk away from us." But thankfully, one lives in the same town as us and the other is only an hour away! Love your blog Susan. Thanks for taking us on such beautiful journeys to houses we will never get to see in person!

  18. That is just one fabulous house!! All the spaces are well thought out, decorated with taste and usable!
    Yes, there were many times as my children grew that I wanted to keep them right where they were. I still look wistfully into their rooms as they are now converted into other spaces. Love em' at every stage and savor the moment!!

  19. My BIL and SIL have a retractable awning over their deck. What a difference an awning makes in the heat of a Virginia summer! The awnings come with remotes for opening and closing. I highly recommend them.

    Lovely Southern Living home tour! SL always provides such beautiful and smart looking homes. You are lucky to see one in person!


  20. Sweetladyelaine says

    I love outdoor spaces…these are exceptionally beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  21. The Painted Cottage says

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love the idea of turning an old fountain into a planter! Thanks for sharing!

    – Lauren

  22. Gorgeous exteriors…I don't see anything I don't like. Love the birdbath turned planter. I can so identify with your thoughts about your son. My son is now 38 with two children….BUT he will always, always be my baby:)

  23. countrycottagegirl says

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful pictures of this dream home! All the patios are marvelous! I don't think I would ever go inside! I even think snuggling up in that bed swing all night would be so fun! I have been know to fall asleep on my front porch wicker sofa and wake up in the wee hours of the morning! That potting bench is awesome, hoping DH will build me one soon with sink and all too! I am in love with this stunning home! Blessings

  24. A Perfect Setting says

    I can identify with your feelings. My son is getting ready to graduate from high school and move on to college, and my daughter is graduating college in May. Two seniors! Very emotional time for me, so bittersweet! Thanks for posting the outdoor rooms, very lovely.

  25. On Crooked Creek says

    I got a chuckle out of your comment about leaving the child's room so he will feel a part of the family when we returns home. . .and that being nine years ago! Isn't it amazing how quickly time passes.

    I'm still using those drapes and spread from 16 years ago. Yes, change takes time. We'll have to compare notes frequently! Keep us posted with your progress!

  26. Hi,
    I loved your post on the Idea House. I wonder what they do to that house, do they give it away in a sweepstake or sell it ?

    My son just started school and reading your post made me realise that hoe fast they grow and then one day they fly out of the nest…. it is really hard on the parents. I feel for you….

  27. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, Renuka! I do so wish I could shrink him little again, sometimes. 🙂 Enjoy them every second because it goes by way too quickly!

  28. Thanks Susan, I will deinately take your advice on that.
    I just recently discovered this Idea House and was wondering what this is all about. I mean what do they do to this house ? I understand that this is to give ideas for people to do in their own home. But at the end of the day , what do they do with this house ? Is there a contest somewhere…….

  29. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    I'm not really sure how it works but you can read more about them at this link:

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